From the biology lab to the stage, junior biology major and Miss South Dakota USA 2018, Madison Nipe, is balancing being a full time student with her role as Miss South Dakota USA 2018.
Prior to competing in the Miss South Dakota USA 2018 pageant in October, Madison Nipe had not been involved in the pageant world. She said she decided to compete in the Miss South Dakota USA 2018 pageant one month before the competition.
“A lot of people spend a lot more time, but now that I am going to Miss USA I’ve been spending the last couple of months and the months until the pageant preparing,” she said.
Madison said her family and friends were surprised when she told them she wanted to compete in the pageant, as it was completely different from the other activities she has been involved in.
“I’ve obviously never done anything like this before,” she said. “I’ve always been in sports. They were surprised, but they were so supportive of me.”
Lexi Morrison, a junior marketing major, met Madison Nipe when they were freshmen going through sorority recruitment. Their friendship grew when they both joined Alpha Phi, they said.
Morrison said she was surprised Madison Nipe won the pageant, but was extremely excited to see her friend crowned.
“We had never really expected her to win because this was her first one,” Morrison said. “We were really excited her name was the last one called and she won.”
Morrison said she thinks Madison Nipe’s personality made her successful at her first pageant.
“She is so approachable and easy to get along with, she is really personable with anybody,” she said. “(That’s why) she is a good representation of not only South Dakota, but also USD.”
Besides being a student and Miss South Dakota USA 2018, Madison Nipe is also active in many extracurricular clubs at USD including Alpha Phi, biology club, pre-dental club.
Although Miss USA members do not need a specific platform to promote, Madison said she works close with women’s heart health associations through Alpha Phi, along with women equality.
“I also want to promote women breaking that glass ceiling and perception that they can’t hold certain jobs,” Madison said. “Women should be able to receive equal pay for equal work and feel safe in their work environment.”
Carrie Nipe, Madison’s mother, said she has always been a role model to younger girls, starting long before she was crowned Miss South Dakota USA 2018. This is exemplified through her involvement with the Big Pal, Little Pal and the Backpack program in Vermillion.
“She has made it a point to be a role model for young girls,” Carrie Nipe said. “We always put little signs on her mirror when she was growing up, and one of them said ‘you are some little girl’s inspiration.’ We just wanted her to know that she needs to be an example for others. So she keeps that in mind in every part of her life.”
Because of her hectic schedule, Madison Nipe said she’s incredibly grateful for the support USD faculty has given her.
“Doing these different appearances and still taking classes has been a little bit more challenging, but the USD staff has been amazing,” she said. “They have helped me so much and I can’t say enough good things about them.”
Carrie Nipe said she and the rest of their family are incredibly proud of Madison.
“I think if you ask anyone Maddie is the most humble and kind person anyone has ever met,” Carrie Nipe said. “She is incredibly beautiful, but she is so beautiful inside and out. I think that the fact that she is confident but so incredibly kind is just a beautiful quality in her and it showed.”
Madison will compete at the Miss USA pageant in the near future; the date of the pageant has not yet been determined. When the pageant does take place it will be broadcasted on Fox. Meantime, Madison said she is enjoying her time as Miss South Dakota USA 2018.
“To me being Miss South Dakota has been a great experience,” Madison said. “I am so grateful to be able to experience this. I am so proud to be a Coyote and be Miss South Dakota at the same time.”